War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

To Young Infantrymen Training for Afghanistan

On lines by Gerard Manley Hopkins

I wake and feel the start of a dark-not day.
These hours with you, infantrymen, spent.
Nights. Days. Tinned in LAV belly. Her heart bent
to morrow’s desert, the hungry march, war’s way
I am called to witness. Struggle to convey
you, three-quarter-formed men. Without lament.
My words. My electronic impulses sent
To you, yours. Your youth. Before it is too late.

I am nothing. I am here. Gone. This is decreed
Witness is my food; not bitter, not sweet
To record, not judge. The bones, flesh, blood-curse
of war. Of spirit, of brother-love I see
hour after hour, cigarette-sweat, your will to be
one, as I am one; left, right, left. This fearsome thirst.

2 Comments (Closed)


Some day someone will write a poem titled ‘ On Lines by SM Steele’.
Very appropriate with Armistice Day almost upon us.

Nov 05 2008 · 05:43

Colin Will

This is excellent S. I like the staccato phrasing, which fits extremely well with the subject. Hope you will want to write more sonnets, if they are as good as this one.

Nov 05 2008 · 09:06

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled To Young Infantrymen Training for Afghanistan. It was posted here on November 04, 2008.


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